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Old 12-04-2017, 02:00 PM   #1
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Beaverton , Oregon
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Is this a good deal? 1976 Overlander

Hello All!

I am new to this forum-actually my first ever forum! I am 27 and I have been Airstream obsessed for as long as I can remember. Iíve always imagined driving off into the sunset with one 🤗 Anyways enough back story. I recently stumbled upon a 1976 Land Yacht Overlander, I am pretty sure that is correct? Havenít seen paperwork yet. The asking price is $1000. The body is straight, no dents in the skin. The interior is all original. The tongue is rusted and some of the front underbelly is coming off exposing the frame. I am unsure of the condition of the frame as I canít see it well, I am, fingers crossed hoping the rest of the frame doesnít have significant rust. Would love a realistic opinion on worst and best case scenario. Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:09 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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Can't give you a value but I do like the anti theft idea of cutting off the coupler.

It all depends on how much you are willing to spend in cash or swept. Keep in mind you won't get your money out of a half way restoration. It going to be all or nothing.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 12-04-2017, 02:35 PM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums!

The answer to your question is: yes, $1000 is probably a reasonable price.


If you think you are going to get a trailer that you can immediately ride off into the sunset in and enjoy the vagabond lifestyle with minimal work and additional investment, you are about to be in for a big surprise and a lot of disappointment.

This trailer looks like it has been absolutely neglected for many years. I can guarantee that your subfloor will be rotten in many places along the perimeter. The rear end will be particularly rotten (as is common in trailers of this vintage), and the frame back there will be significantly eaten up with rust and rot.

There are many threads on these forums where an uninitiated buyer pulls that trailer home hoping to do some superficial fix-ups and be on the road, only to find that they have a shell-off and many years of work ahead of them (yes, I was one of them).

So, $1000 buys you a huge project. If you are looking for something that is essentially safe to tow and camp in, but needs a little cleaning up, then expect to pay $10,000+.

Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:46 PM   #4
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1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
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Welcome to the forums -- the disease you have is called Aluminitis

That trailer looks quite a bit like the '59 Overlander we pulled out of the woods in Pennsylvania. It was also in a shaded too-moist area. We were unpleasantly surprised when we took off the bellypan and realized that it was easier to replace the frame than repair it.

You're wise to ask here and would do well to get a good education on the restoration process before proceeding. Here are two of my favorite recommendations:

theVap - the Vintage Airstream podcast
Links to the Major Restorations

Good luck in your search!

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Old 12-04-2017, 03:45 PM   #5
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1991 25' Excella
2011 19' Flying Cloud
Santa Ynez , California
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Welcome aboard!
I thought it was a good deal until I saw the picture of the frame.
You are looking at a serious amount of work (and $) to bring that trailer back to life from what I see. I'm guessing to it smells pretty musty inside? I would be thinking along the lines of a shell off with major frame renovation and build back up from there, new floor, new axles and brakes, new cabinets, etc, etc.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:02 PM   #6
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
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My Overlander sat outside 18yrs before I tackled it, a pressure washer does wonders,but be careful of that asbestos floor tile,taking it out requires special care or you can get mesothelioma. It's no worse than many others , but will be a lot of work,which is either a labor of love orabigpaininthehindend, deoending on you.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:04 PM   #7
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
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I forgot to add.. you can't beAt the price...
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:46 PM   #8
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi and welcome from Colorado: I have a 75 Overlander that I'm working on.

This Sasquatch from deep in the woods is a big monster. It is only worth scrap value as it sits. It will need most everything.

I'd estimate $20k in materials and 1600 hours work to make it travel ready. If you subcontract the work to some shop, then it's another $30k expense. For what? A 1976 Overlander where there are nice ones for less than $20k.

Airstreams are more expensive and last a long time due to their aluminum bodies. The brand has a great following in spite of the cost. But everything else rusts and rots away like ordinary campers. It appears from your good photos that this project trailer is for the dedicated hobbyists who likes Overlanders like I do.

My advice, keep looking. Find something you can use right away.

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Old 12-05-2017, 12:50 AM   #9
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West Sacramento , California
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Keep looking and pass on that rusted out money pit
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:18 AM   #10
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2005 30' Safari
Montgomery , Texas
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Hi Hanna!!! Welcome! Be sure to use the inspector link on the forums here if you run across one that seems roadworthy. A small amount of thank you $ given to them may save you $$$ on finding hidden issues. The Overlander you found has some obvious flawsómany arenít that apparent, though.

Be very wary of trailers that have just been renoíed by a DIYíer. Sadly, some people mask issues with a little updating, and donít actually fix anything. Or a trailer thatís been polished, but has junk axles/tires. Good luck!!! The hunt for one is awesome, and it sounds like you have the patience to wait for a good deal!
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:21 AM   #11
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1972 27' Overlander
Woodburn , Oregon
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First of all how would you get it home being someone cut the coupler off ? Do you have the vast amount Of tools it's going to take on this job plus the know how to do this job let alone a good place to park and work on it ?
I'm several years into my 1972 overlander with close to 20k cash out lay so far and no where finished but I'm up grading everything and my baby is going to be as plush as a new one
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:43 AM   #12
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They should pay you to take it off their property...
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:12 AM   #13
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1998 34' Limited
Lawrenceville , Georgia
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If the frame is as bad as it appears in that one, underneath photo, I would pass on it. (I've restored some that my friends insisted, qualified me for the looney bin) Basically, you would be buying the shell. Now $1,000.00 is a great price for a good shell, if it is good. The more important question is whether or not you need a shell.

The experts you encounter in various places, including here, will tell you that you might not be up to the task or qualified to try this restoration. Just remember, they all got their experience by starting a project that was over their head. There is plenty of online support for such a project, especially here. You have to decide if you want to learn this much, this fast...and if you have a place to disembowel the trailer to begin the process.

It's not a frame-off restoration. It is an off-frame chassis replacement and then a restoration. If the body is great, it COULD be nice. It would need to be your dream and something you would want to keep and enjoy for years. Likely not a profit making effort.

I am not discouraging you. Just visualize your goal and then decide if this fits in the pic. Either way, wishing you great success.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:26 PM   #14
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Colorado Springs , Colorado
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If you like to get dirty, have lots of money to toss and are willing to learn a lot of new skills, then it could be fun. But as has been started better ones are available and likely less expensive in the long run. That one looks to me like an eight year project.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:25 PM   #15
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1973 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
Vista , California
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you would be brave to take that on. could sell the parts and learn a lot about airstreams
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